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Education

New Rules on US Summer Jobs for Foreign Students

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Iuliia Bolgaryna of Ukraine, right, was a Summer Work Travel student at a souvenir store in North Carolina in 2010. She said she worked many hours of overtime but was only paid for 40 hours a week. With her were her roommates.Iuliia Bolgaryna of Ukraine, right, was a Summer Work Travel student at a souvenir store in North Carolina in 2010. She said she worked many hours of overtime but was only paid for 40 hours a week. With her were her roommates.
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Iuliia Bolgaryna of Ukraine, right, was a Summer Work Travel student at a souvenir store in North Carolina in 2010. She said she worked many hours of overtime but was only paid for 40 hours a week. With her were her roommates.
Iuliia Bolgaryna of Ukraine, right, was a Summer Work Travel student at a souvenir store in North Carolina in 2010. She said she worked many hours of overtime but was only paid for 40 hours a week. With her were her roommates.

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
 
Download PDF: New Rules on US Summer Jobs for Foreign Students

More than one hundred thousand international students will spend this summer working and traveling in the United States. They are participating in the Summer Work Travel program through the State Department. They receive J-1 exchange visitor visas.
 
The idea is for students to work for up to three months and earn enough money to then spend a month traveling before they return home.
 
The Summer Work Travel program has existed for years. This year there are some changes. The State Department recently amended the employment rules. These changes follow a strike last summer by foreign students working at a distribution center for Hershey's chocolates.
 
The State Department said the students were put to work for long hours in jobs that provided little or no contact with the outside world. The students complained about having to lift heavy boxes and to work overnight.
 
They and other workers protested conditions at the plant in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. The students also complained about being underpaid as a result of deductions from their earnings. Some of their pay had to go to subcontractors involved in the operations.
 
The State Department has now banned the use of Summer Work Travel students in warehouses or packaging plants. Also, the majority of their work hours cannot fall between ten at night and six in the morning. The students are also barred from jobs in workplaces that the federal Labor Department says are unsafe.
 
More jobs will be banned in the fall. These include most construction, manufacturing and food processing jobs. Summer Work Travel students will also not be allowed to work in most mining and agricultural jobs.
 
Daniel Costa at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington welcomed the new limits on jobs that the students can fill.
 
DANIEL COSTA:  "That is good because it will protect the actual foreign workers from getting injured on the job. It also protects U.S. workers, because there is high unemployment in a lot of those occupations."
 
He also praised a requirement that employers only fill temporary or seasonal jobs with Summer Work Travel students. He noted that some employers have continually hired new student workers to avoid having to hire regular full-time employees.
 
Jacob Horwitz is lead organizer for the National Guestworker Alliance, the group that organized the strike in Palmyra.
 
JACOB HORWITZ: "The changes to the J-1 rules really recognize the demands that the students put forward, and both add a whole set of protections and changes that protect local workers who work in industries that use guest workers and also protect future J-1 students."
 
He says the State Department's changes will help return the program to its original purpose as a cultural exchange program. 
 
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Jim Tedder.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ted from: china
06/18/2012 3:36 PM
Sounds great !


by: miki from: Japan
06/10/2012 11:50 PM
I think this new rules are good, or rather they are natural. International students have only three months to work, but they had made the employees lift heavy boxes without contacting with the outside world. It is ridicuulous isn't it? If we face with any ridiculous things, we have to notify. It is important sometimes. Your opinion may improve something like this.


by: hisk from: japan
06/08/2012 5:47 AM
I think the project is interesting.It is a good project using a long vacation of summer vacation.I think that there are a lot of things learnt while working at foreing countries, too.And point that can work at the safe place is also very good.


by: kyoka from: Japan
06/01/2012 11:06 PM
I think that more international students spends summer working and traveling is interesting! It is a valuable experience. But, I think that the students complain about work is regrettable.
This system of International students spends summer working and traveling has some problem, so I think that new rules help international student to work comfortable.
If our college has this system, I may take part in work.


by: Jean
06/01/2012 12:26 AM
It's really a great experience for foreign students to participate in the Summer Work Travel Program. As I know, earning money is not their main goal because sometimes they spend more than they gain. The most important things for them are to learn other cultures, make friends from different countries, improve their English, be more independent, etc. They are only young adults working and traveling in a foreign country, so we are responsible to protect them. If their parents don't think it's safe, they won't allow their kids to go abroad alone, will they?


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
05/31/2012 8:54 PM
This new rule is good for both international students and American people seeking jobs. By the way, what do international students work for if they are banned from warehouses, packing plants, construction, manufacturing and food processing jobs? Serving staff at shops or private teacher?

In Response

by: vu ngoc duy from: viet nam
06/06/2012 1:44 PM
thanks. i like this project


by: chen
05/31/2012 10:13 AM
This new rules is very powerful. Foreign Students must have safe work place.

In Response

by: Alex from: China
06/03/2012 4:55 AM
it's essential to make a new rule for international students,and it's also benificial for the local people,because there are more jops can offer them,but I have a question, the students are as the same as the past ,however,the jops is reduction ,so could all of them can find a jop?

In Response

by: cuong from: vietnam
06/01/2012 5:19 AM
these rules is useful for foreign students working in the company

In Response

by: ljy from: USA
06/05/2012 3:10 PM
That's a good thing.Unfortunately,there are some people who always try to ignore rules as long as it benefits them.

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